Albert Hammond smiles as he recalls midway through tonight’s show: “I often have people come up to me and say ‘I enjoyed the show. But why so many cover songs?”. During the current Songbook Tour though Hammond is able to put the record (literally) straight before each song. “Here’s one I wrote that Julio Inglesias had a hit with (‘All the girls I’ve met before’), here’s one I co-wrote for Leo Sayer (‘When I Need You’) One I co-wrote for the Hollies (‘Air That I Breathe’). Roncalli Platz in Cologne was a chance to remind people just how prolific a songwriter he is – and he took his chance well. An evening of familiar songs that, if they didn’t stretch back in time as far as the Cathedral towering behind the stage, still had a long and very successful history.
Who says familiarity breeds contempt? Dani Wilde has become a regular visitor to Cologne/Bonn in recent years but every visit has been very different. With Sam Fish and Casisie Taylor on Blues Caravan, with her own Band, and on Tuesday, with an acoustic trio. Dani Wilde & Friends saw Brighton’s Blues Belle bring her infectious enthusiasm and soul laden voice to Colognes Yardclub.
Labelled by Rolling Stone as ‚The Musical equivalent of a pub crawl’ The Pogues were in Cologne at the Tanzbrunnen on Tuesday to celebrate their suitably titled ’Thir(s)ty Years’ Anniversary Tour.
I knew the plastic beer glasses would be flying, and I was pretty certain the 7pm start was more a hope than a statement of intent. I was certain too that the main question on everyone’s minds would be the same as it was in Bonn last year: ‘How will Shane be?’. Which is a pity, because people really should read their tickets more closely. It doesn’t say ‘Shane MacGowen & Band’ it says ‘The Pogues’ – and they are a great Band in their own right.
What’s so hard about playing the Blues on a harmonica? Playing it so that people want to listen for more than two minutes is the answer. That a 23 year old Brit can manage to hold an audience spellbound for an entire concert is more than just a little bit special – but Brightons Will Wilde is not your average ‘bar-room blower’ as I discovered in Colognes Yardclub.